Fashioned In Clay

The youngest witness of Job’s ongoing agony and complaint has now made himself known in Chapter 32 of The Book of Job. Last week I posted about Elihu’s first comments. He’s a young guy and he admits he’s been listening to Job and the three comforters, and has heard their explanations for Job’s suffering.


In Chapter 33, Elihu goes on speaking. Elihu explains how Job has been calling for a judge to whom he can present his case and make his appeal. In essence, Elihu tells Job, I’m the man you want! Elihu establishes his common ground with Job, saying he also had been formed out of clay. With thoughtful arguments, Elihu will offer judgment on Job’s complaints.

At first, Elihu chides Job for whining about how he perceived he’d been treated by God. Instead of focusing on his circumstances, Elihu reminds Job of God’s greatness (vs. 12 ff.). He suggests Job has a lot of nerve believing (if only by inference) that God owes Job an explanation … that God is obligated to give to Job an account of His doings. For two men who’ve been fashioned out of clay, Elihu asserts they’re in a completely different class than the Creator of Heaven and Earth!

Elihu goes on, telling Job that visions and pain and even angels are used by God to forward His purposes. Furthermore, he reminds Job that God’s overriding purpose is one of love; God desires to save Job (and all men) from the pit (perdition). If He must use pain to achieve His purpose, Elihu contends this is a good thing, so “the light of life may shine on them.”

Finally, Elihu challenges Job to respond, if indeed, Job believes Elihu has spoken untruthfully. But Job remains mute, and Elihu will continue his comments in Chapter 34 (that we’ll look at next week).

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